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INCOMING: Casa Q’ero

Encinitas' favorite South American bistro expands further south

By Troy Johnson

Chef Monica Szepesy’s South American bistro in Encinitas has long been one of the city’s most beloved holes in the wall. From Q’ero‘s Kurobuta pork in Peruvian aji chile sauce to beef short ribs marinated in chichas de jora (corn beer) to chicken hearts on a stick, Szepesy and her risk-taking South American dishes are fixtures at events boasting San Diego’s top chefs. The only problem with her flagship? Elbow jousting. Compulsory eavesdropping. The utter lack of space. That’ll change later this year when Q’ero opens its new spot in Cardiff-by-the-Sea. Szepesy is taking over the former Hunan Manor—a 2,525 square-foot space at 815 Birmingham Drive. Make no mistake. This is a tough location. The only foot traffic will be people buying road sodas at Chevron, which blocks the restaurant from street view. But we’re confident Szepesy could open a space at 815 Behind the Bushes and Trees and her people would find it. The chef, currently cooking at a festival in Peru, says there’s a lot of work to do on the interior. But she’s aiming to open Casa Q’ero in November.

INCOMING: Casa Q’ero

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